Doctor Who: The Forever Trap: No. 2 Audio CD – Audiobook, 9 Oct 2008
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"What really made The Forever Trap stand out for me... was the quality of the production... Catherine Tate’s narration is outstanding" (http://www.doctorwhoreviews.co.uk)
Catherine Tate reads this exclusive thrilling story, in which the Doctor and Donna are imprisoned on the Edifice - and become neighbours to a terrifying assortment of aliens.See all Product description
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Having loved the first CD in this range - Pest Control - i was keen to get my hands on this story too. Catherine Tate makes for an excellent reader as the Doctor and Donna become trapped in the mysteries of a massive confusing puzzle of a building/space station known as the Edifice.
Playing on ideas of mind-tricks (the story itself referencing the work of Escher) it is an altogether more subtle story than the fast-paced action of Pest Control. The Forever Trap might not be as instant a story, but it make sup for that in the gradually growing sense of menace that pervades the Edifice. The imagery and description conjured up in this story is fantastic, all stark modern design descending into chaos, as well as the imaginative descriptions of the various alien races caught int eh building too.
What with the Doctor and Donna being separated for a fair few bits of the TV series, it is really good to see them playing off each-other throughout in this story and the dynamic between the two characters is brilliant. There's also a very touching line towards the end where the Doctor sums up his aim in his adventures 'We try to pick up the pieces Donna, but sometimes those pieces are broken'. It's a beautiful moment and perfectly captures the burden the Doctor has to bear.
The themes on display here play well into those established in the TV series too, the idea of a sinister 'spacestation' with mysterious goings on behind the scenes harking back to 'The Long Game' while the idea of a swarm of creatures eating away in the dark brings to mind the Vashta Nerada in the 'Silence In The Library' two-parter.
So, all in all, this is a great adventure - while admitedly not the most pacy or action-based, those that love the more creepy, subtle side of Doctor Who will love this and it's well worth a listen
I know some folks have been less than impressed with Abnett's work for the Whoniverse thus far, but he has crafted a pitch-perfect story for the Tenth Doctor and Donna, and Catherine Tate clearly relishes reading it - on occasion she does a near-perfect impersonation of David Tennant's manic Tenth Doctor, and all her other character voices are easily distinguished from each other, and many really managed to convey aurally the charaters that I couldn't see. This audio novel is far superior to Peter Anghelides "Pest Control". I felt that Abnett created some interesting, original alien creatures and the story was well paced. Donna was incredibly Donna-ish - and I loved her to bits in this story. I cannot recommend it highly enough as it was a very satisfying story.
The story here is set sometime after TV episodes The Sontaran Stratagem/The Poison Sky. During the Doctor and Donna's travels, the TARDIS is invaded by a viral transmission, or rather, a holographic marketing scam that doesn't take `No!' for an answer. Despite their best efforts, the travellers find themselves trapped on the Edifice, a planet-sized complex of luxury apartments in space. Millions of beings across the Universe have been abducted, and where some really enjoy living in the Edifice, others have been taken from their natural habitat and cannot survive. Some are also vicious creatures who live only for war and conquest, and others still are mindless predators who look only to feast. Long story short, the Edifice is not all it's cracked up to be and is in fact a nightmarish mismatch of emotions that condemns all inside to eternal hell and death. With seemingly NO - WAY - OUT.
Obviously, The Forever Trap has been compared a lot to Pest Control, the other audiobook set during Series 4. Like Pest Control, The Forever Trap is a tale that's been done exclusively for audio. But is it better than Pest Control? Absolutely.
Dan Abnett, the author, is a man who should need no introduction. He's written plenty of stuff for Marvel UK (such as Transformers and Doctor Who) and he's famous for writing 2000AD, X-Men, stories for DC and Wildstorm and many bestselling novels. He's one of the most famous science-fiction writers in all the UK. So that was another reason why I wanted this audiobook so much. And true to nature, Abnett doesn't disappoint. He has written a STAGGERING story here.
Whereas Pest Control was action-filled, thrilling, multi-layered and great fun, The Forever Trap is much deeper and more psychological. As the mysteries of the Edifice unravel, the story becomes more sinister and darker. Like all good Who tales, there are plenty of twists-and-turns and enough action to liven things up, but this audiobook's greatest strengths are all the different alien species encountered, the whole concept of the Edifice, all the dangers and horrors within, the faultless relationship and conversational exchanges between the Doctor and Donna, Donna's bravery and resoluteness and finally some brilliant nods to important parts of the Doctor's life. The Ood and the Sontarans get a mention here, as does the Doctor's lost homeworld of Gallifrey, which is very creative and really adds to the psychology of the story.
But it's the SOUND that truly makes The Forever Trap really tense and nail-biting. Catherine Tate provides a PERFECT narrative to Abnett's story. She reads excellently, gives each of the characters great distinctive voices, continues to make Donna special and also does a good impersonation of the Doctor. Of course, all this is a given. We all now how excellent Catherine is at doing voices.
Like Pest Control, the music and sound effects really add to the drama of the story, but what's different and better here is that it's more varied. The music is so much more creepier and eerie and the sound effects WILL keep you on edge and make you jump throughout, especially during the EPIC finale when our heroes discover the Edifice's sinister secret.
Another reason to purchase The Forever Trap is because it's very much a `Doctor and Donna' story. All the other characters have minor roles and don't really have that big an impact on the course of events as the supporting characters did in Pest Control, and that's what makes the audiobook so refreshing. The Doctor and Donna's friendship is what made the fourth series so brilliant and this is a reminder of how true it was and how many great moments it provided for, such as the constant insistence to everyone that they WEREN'T a couple, and how much they were there for one another.
Doctor Who: The Forever Trap has everything it needs to satisfy die-hard fans. I put it on my iPod and was really glad I did. It will have you absolutely hooked from start-to-finish because of everything that's on it. Psychological, deep, gripping, tense, and will send plenty of chills down your spine. Utterly worth having.
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